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OPINION: Answering the critics

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| April 26, 2024 1:00 AM

There is a coordinated statewide effort to destroy the Idaho Conservative Grassroots Movement from the inside and turn Idaho blue. A gang of Boise political consultants calling themselves “Gem State Conservatives” brag about having $2 million to accomplish this goal. In truth it’s the “Gem State Heist” because it’s nearly identical to the Rocky Mountain Heist which turned Colorado from deep red to blue. These efforts have the full support, approval and endorsement of the woke Democrat party.

Locally they have allied with the Old Guard Never-Trumpers that are currently calling themselves “North Idaho Republicans” (NIR), which is just the latest Republican sounding skinsuit they have worn over the years including; “Republicans of North Idaho,” “Reasonable Republicans,” “Democrats And Republicans Together or DART,” “CEQEC” and others. They use a name until it gets too tainted and then put on a new one hoping nobody notices it’s the same gang behind the curtain. But the new name isn’t known so they mimic what the actual Republican Party does and count on people being fooled. During the last election their recommended candidate flyer was a near copy of the Republican flyer but the NAMES on their recommended candidate list were IDENTICAL to the Democrat’s list. They received a Cease and Desist order from the Republican National Committee.  

The Gem State Heist plan is to take out the Precinct Committeemen and seize control of the Republican Party at its base. It involves running 70 of their pledged followers against the Republican volunteers currently serving the party. It is a solid plan and it just may work, unless people realize what is actually happening. 

The signs are there, and once you see them you can’t un-see them. Sifting through the NIR endorsed candidates you find all the layout and text of their candidate flyers eerily similar, as if assembled a la carte from a tray of Astroturf snippets. A review shows the “heartfelt personal expressions” are cloned across multiple NIR Precinct Candidate cards making refuting them simple.

Let’s make a rational examination of some of their claims.

The No. 1 claim is that the NIR candidates are “True Conservatives.” A look through their social media accounts shows that according to NIR “True Conservative” means you; support mask mandates, voted for Biden, support DEI and ESG, approve of the job Mayorkas is doing on the boarder, hate Trump, love Ranked Choice Voting, are OK with porn in the children’s section of the public library, are pro vaccine mandate, love giving money to Ukraine, applaud a woke military, support public funds promoting communist art in the public square and think the former treasurer for the Democrat Party is a good conservative Republican candidate for the legislature. I wonder if NIR knows what a woman is?

The second claim, appearing in over half the flyers is that they will give you all the information on the candidates so “you can make an informed decision on who best reflects your values.” The use of the word “reflects” is telling because the NIR candidate is mirroring your values back to you rather than exposing their own. They are literally telling you what you want to hear rather than telling you what they believe. 

In reality, if they gain control the NIR has promised to STOP the Rating and Vetting process that is so critical in providing information to the voters. They want to stop the KCRCC from making these recommendations so the NIR candidates, the ones also endorsed by Democrats, have a better chance of getting elected. NIR’s plan is to give you less quality information and more of their propaganda. 

About a third of the flyers imply that the KCRCC is somehow taking your power, reducing your choices, picking winners and losers or controlling your thoughts. This is pure, unfounded propaganda. The KCRCC is simply making recommendations on which of the declared candidates hold principles and policies closest to the Republican Platform. You are absolutely free to take those recommendations or not. The voter has all the power. Always have and always will. Saying you don’t is a lie intended to frighten you. 

The KCRCC is made up of one person from each of the 73 precincts in the county. It makes sense that this cross section of county voters would be better at predicting who will win an election than say a collection of doctors, developers, or real estate agents and other specialized groups with limited representation or special interests. The KCRCC being good at spotting winners is not “limiting your choices,” it’s illuminating your options.

The KCRCC is the only conservative institution, recognized by the Idaho GOP and elected by the Republican voters, to represent YOUR interests. All of these other groups and associations, especially the “North Idaho Republicans,” are unaccountable, operate in closed door meetings and represent special interests. Other political groups who are wholly unaccountable and self-serving include DART, CEQEC, Nonpartisan Doctors of Coeur d’Alene, Yes for CDA, and Save NIC, amongst others. They run their own endorsements, which are almost always exactly the same as each other and the Kootenai County Democrats. If the people lose the KCRCC, there will be NO major institution to defend the interests of grassroots conservatives and politically, your options will be between bad or worse.

Go to www.GemStateHeist.org for more information, sources and references.

It’s just common sense.

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Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.